In this interview, Ally Miller discusses how Brown’s MAT program helped her reach her goals in classroom management, and securing a teaching position shortly after graduation.
What were you doing before the program?
Prior to beginning the program at Brown, I was studying Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara. I was a recent graduate when I began the MAT program and I had only had pre-professional experience in the classroom consisting mostly of observations and volunteering at a teacher’s assistant.
What are you doing now?
I am currently a sixth grade English teacher at a brand new charter middle school in Los Angeles, CA.
What attracted you to Brown’s program?
I was attracted to a lot of the aspects of the program at Brown, but the two top things would have to be the amount of classroom experience I would graduate with and the opportunity for an academic focused semester. It was really important to me that I would have adequate classroom time, but I found it equally valuable to have the chance to take classes in my content area from an educator’s perspective.
What was the highlight of the program?
The highlight of the program for me would have to be my student teaching semester. I had an incredible placement and I learned so much! Being in the classroom everyday for a semester really benefitted my learning and helped to strengthen my teaching practice.
How did the program meet your expectations?
The program helped to develop my teaching practice in a number of ways. I walked away from the Brown MAT program with competitive unit designing skills, a large amount of time in the classroom, as well as a repertoire of popular teaching literature that helped me secure a teaching position shortly after graduation.
How did the program help you meet your personal goals?
One of my most important personal goals was to come away with a tool kit to use in my own classroom for behavior management. I had heard that this was critical for first year teachers and I wanted to be sure to develop these skills as much as possible. From the very beginning with Brown Summer High School, this personal goal was already on the way to being met. By graduation I had had many conversations with knowledgeable faculty and mentors to help me strengthen my knowledge of classroom management. I had also read a number of sources that would help me hit the ground running when I entered my own classroom.
What do you like best about your work as a teacher?
My favorite part of teaching has always been the relationships that I get to build with my students. I enjoy getting to know them as people, learning what motivates them, and using this knowledge to help them succeed.
What would you tell someone considering the Brown MAT?
I would tell anyone considering the Brown MAT program that they should highly consider this program as an option. The Brown MAT program helps to create highly competitive applicants, and I can honestly say that I felt truly prepared for my career after graduation.